Simple steps to lower your energy bill before the summer heat sc - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports


Simple steps to lower your energy bill before the summer heat scorches the area

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With summer approaching, more expensive electric bills are around the corner... As people begin cooling down their homes - trying to beat the higher temperatures, but before you turn on the air conditioning--- you may want to make sure your home is energy ready - so money isn't flying out the windows.  Channel 3 looks into ways to help keep your home cooler during the summer months while saving on your energy bill.

It only takes a few steps into Janine Gillam’s home for energy auditor Ron Jones to find signs of wasted money. “The first thing I noticed was the light bulbs, that she was burning those incandescent bulbs. She had five under one spot. It was creating a lot of heat in the room,” said Jones.

Gillam sees a drastic increase in her air conditioning bill during the summer months. She agreed to a home audit to find out why and invited Channel 3 to tag along. “You get a lot of knowledge about your home, being a single woman, I didn't know,” said Gillam.

Jones says secret savings can be hiding around appliances. “Under the sink, for a lot of people it goes unnoticed, around the dryers, the vent that's coming into the house, if the dryer vent isn't coiled,” said Jones.  Attic insulation can also a great place to save on your energy bill. Drop down stairs pull in the cool air, and raise your bill. “By sealing the ducts in the attic it will force the air to come back into the condition space and her unit and thermostat will be satisfied quicker and wouldn't operate as long.”

Energy efficient doors can save big, but if one isn't in the budget -- adding weather stripping to roof lines, doors and siding can impact the operational costs of a home. “Weather stripping around the door. I can look straight through it and it is daylight. That adds up to a dollar a day.”

A dollar a day Gillam says she'd rather spend elsewhere. Jones estimates it would take $2,000 to weather-proof Gillam's home. That would save $20 to $50 each month. “Start with the inexpensive things which I will do and then build from there once I build my funds back up. It takes time do those things but I will be doing it eventually, mostly all of it.”

EPB offers a free in-home energy audit.  After the audit, you'll receive a list of items needed to make your home energy efficient. Also, they will provide you with a list of certified contractors to help repair your home one project at a time.

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